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About this book

This book gathers outstanding papers presented at the Conference on Automation Innovation in Construction (CIAC-2019). In recent years, there have been significant transformations in the construction sector regarding production and the use of computers and automation to create smart and autonomous systems. At the same time, innovative construction materials and alternative technologies are crucial to overcoming the challenges currently facing the building materials industry. The book presents numerous examples of smart construction technologies, discusses the applications of new construction materials and technologies, and includes studies on recent trends in automation as applied to the construction sector.

Table of Contents


Building Information Model


BIM Education Required in Construction Industry

Building Information Modeling (BIM), as a methodology, has been coming essential; supporting the development of multitasks within the construction industry, including concept/design, construction work planning/scheduling, or maintenance/management of buildings. In the construction industry, BIM has automated processes offering a great advantage in decreasing discrepancies between the as-planned and as-built models, saving money and time, and contributing to avoid errors, to limit risks, and to reduce costs divergences. Currently, students of Architecture and Engineering should take advantage of the new job opportunities that are emerging around the process of the global adoption of BIM, complementing there training with BIM knowledge. In addition, practicing professionals should acquire competencies in BIM allowing them to be able to participate in the process of profound transformation that the construction sector is now experiencing. Improving competitiveness in the construction industry is needed. BIM education responsibility should be shared between industry and academia in order that the introducing of BIM education in academia can reach distinct objectives related with specific masters or professional needs. The text describes the research conducted on the analysis of curricula within Civil Engineering schools with incidence in specialization courses and in workshops offered outside aimed at professionals of the construction sector.

Alcinia Zita Sampaio

Introduction to Proactive Design. Toward the Implementation of BIM Methodology for Managing Complexity in Architectural Projects

The opportunities provided by the introduction of IT tools into the building process have not brought yet substantial changes in building design process, which is still anchored to traditional process paradigm. That is, design phases are rigidly subdivided in “boxes”, that contain the knowledge required to related phases, while others are reciprocally separated by semantic barriers. Moreover, differently from other industrial sectors where the quality is verified by means of prototypes to be tested and improved, in construction sector the quality cannot be assured as those methodologies, because each building is, de facto, the prototype of itself. It is needed to define a new design paradigm, based on advanced methodologies and digital simulation tools, capable to predict in advance design and construction behaviors. To reach this objective, an IT simulative system based on concurrent Hybrid Actor is presented. The outcome of this approach is an optimized design process.

Gabriele Novembri, Francesco Livio Rossini, Antonio Fioravanti

Real-Estate Valuation Based on BIM Methodology

The real-estate valuation is still complex when it comes to the quantification of the areas and all the factors and coefficients involved in the tax asset value calculation. Automatic methods developed for this purpose have been using various possible approaches and tend to be quite complex for the calculation speed required in most cases. Building Information Modeling (BIM) has as its main advantage the possibility of a precise representation of the geometry of building elements, with integration of information and data in several dimensions. In this sense, this work intends to show the interests that exist in the creation and use of the BIM three-dimensional digital model, providing evidence of the value created for owners, designers, and investors through its use, creating better quality projects and more efficient construction processes, with economy of time and money. The present research work aims to develop the use of an automatic method for the real-estate value calculation, using BIM methodologies. Through BIM, the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operation (AECO) sector can take major evolutions in process optimization, following other major industries. These concepts allow for great speed and efficiency in post-project phases with many advantages compared to current methods. In the scope of the work, an automatic method is developed to calculate the real-estate value in two case studies. The application of the automatic method gains even more importance due to the possibility of its implementation in any developed three-dimensional model. Finally, the results obtained are analyzed and the main conclusions stated.

Paula Couto, Maria João Falcão Silva, Filipa Salvado

Quantity Take-Off Process Supported by Building Information Modeling (BIM) Methodology

Building Information Modeling (BIM) offers the Construction professionals the tools to optimize and increase the automation of various design and construction tasks, namely, the Quantity Take-Off (QTO). In a construction project, this task is essential for accurate preliminary cost estimations, investment analysis, cost and resource planning, and control and supporting decision-making processes. The BIM methodology is progressively being implemented in Construction, bringing recognized benefits in the quality of the final product and in the efficiency of the design and construction processes. As BIM is based in the generation and updating of a centralized model, containing all the information of the construction project, it presents a valid alternative to the traditional process, allowing consistent results concerning the QTO activity and facilitating the information management in construction. However, the implementation of BIM in QTO processes, by a majority, is still hindered by the lack of BIM-based measurement rules and is thus often looked upon with reservations in the industry. This paper aims to contribute to the knowledge and dissemination of the benefits of using BIM as a tool for automated QTO. The study demonstrates the main advantages of a BIM/QTO activity and discusses solutions to overcome the limitations identified in a practical case study.

Alcínia Zita Sampaio, Bernardo G. Antunes, Nuno Marques de Almeida

Information Requirements to BIM Models

Building Information Modeling (BIM) stands out as a vector of innovation encouraging a revolution in modern Civil Engineering. This methodology congregates process, politics, and technology enabling a collaborative construction in virtual space. BIM implementation in buildings and infrastructures has been advantageous when compared to traditional process, allowing error and rework reductions as well as improving costs and time previsions. One of BIM’s biggest challenges is managing and sharing a large amount of information. Each building element needs to align the information and detail requirements to be included in the models for design, construction, and operation. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published in 2018 the designation Level of Information Need that explains how requirements are defined and managed in BIM projects in a flexible, adaptable, and digital mode. Thereafter, the work under development aims to make tangible for engineers and architects how the information requirements are applied to BIM models. Initially, it presented a state of the art about BIM and its uses. The parallel of information requirements of global standards and guides bases the framework. The case study comprises modeling of a private leisure space located in Lisbon. A model is developed for each project phase and the corresponding information requirements planned in conformity.

Lorena Luedy, Paula Couto, Maria João Falcão Silva, João Hormigo

OpenBIM Methods and Tools for Schedule and Cost Management

Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodologies and approaches are becoming topics of increasing interest within several infrastructural engineering applications. As far as Construction Management (CM) is concerned, BIM technologies provide a valid support-decision tool, which includes a repository of CM-related data, useful for any further development and use. This work presents current Infrastructural Building Information Modeling (InfraBIM) implementation possibilities regarding the correlation between information digital modeling, schedule, and cost management dimensions. The methodology is applied to case studies simulation of excavation and construction phases in underground structures to generate budgeted cost and time schedules linked to BIM models. The major benefit in applying such an approach results in obtaining a model with different types of information that can be updated during the design and construction phases. Also, the associated workflow management system allows to update the 3D model, time schedule, and cost estimation while maintaining relations and interconnections previously defined between model components and specific information on their activities and cost. Another key result is about the chance to communicate design and construction schedules via Virtual and Augmented Reality (VAR) techniques, which provide a consistent support tool for the visualization of infrastructure projects.

Arianna Fonsati, Anna Osello, Alberto De Marco

Building Functional Rehabilitation Based on BIM Methodology

The Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operations (AECO) sector has innovated in the design and construction methods using new technologies, with emphasis on the Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology. However, it is still necessary to explore how this methodology can be applied to rehabilitation, in general, and to functional rehabilitation. BIM has as its main advantage, the possibility of an accurate representation of the geometry of the elements, integrating the information in several dimensions. The use of digital models is very important, since it allows optimizing the visualization and detail of these elements and their constructive processes, being a collaborative methodology. The present work intends to frame the BIM theme in the building’s rehabilitation, namely, at a functional level, being presented with the development of a study in which BIM methodology is applied to a commercial building functional rehabilitation. The BIM model is built by surveying the existing use of the laser scanner and the existing plants, and later being exploited to obtain useful documentation, such as drawn pieces representing both demolition operations and new construction, in an application methodology. The main results of the research are discussed, and the corresponding conclusions are stated.

Maria João Falcão Silva, Paula Couto, Fernando Pinho, João Lopes

Construction and Demolition Waste—A Shift Toward Lean Construction and Building Information Model

Waste in the construction industry is a devastating dilemma, especially that construction and demolition activities are considered as the highest waste generator globally. Countries have developed regulations: policy-makers and professional associations have provided norms and policies to manage C&D waste. Previous studies, however, have revealed insufficiencies in the current regulations and norms in incentivizing the industry practices toward waste prevention, since its culture is characterized by the gap in technological use, insufficient knowledge, poor planning, and poor information flow. This research provides a literature review on the current research findings and trends in managing C&D waste. Then based on design theory and theory of production, an exploratory research consisting of BIM and Lean construction concepts is provided. Lean can maximize the value of construction by addressing waste within portfolios, projects, and operations; BIM offers an enhanced collaborative platform with improved design practice and information management throughout buildings’ life cycle. The proposed conceptual framework enables economic, environmental, and social benefits to allow practitioners collaborate, analyze, and minimize construction waste throughout buildings’ life cycle.

Mahmoud Karaz, José Cardoso Teixeira, Kamel Mohamed Rahla

Data Acquisition in Cultural Heritage Buildings Using Non-destructive Techniques, and Its Gathering with BIM—The Case Study of the Gothic Monastery of Batalha in Portugal

This paper presents an interdisciplinary approach that combines different types of information, gathered by different techniques, about one façade of the Founder’s Chapel of the Monastery of Batalha at Leiria, which was collected into a Building Information Modelling (BIM) model. Non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques play an important role in the characterization and diagnosis level of historic buildings, having in view their conservation and possible rehabilitation. The surface geometry and spectral properties of the façade of the chapel were determined using a camera mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and a fixed thermal imaging camera. To complement this information, a Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) was employed to investigate the interior of the façade. The visible anomalies of the façade were subject to different classification approaches. All the gathered information, properly georeferenced was fed to a 3D model supported by BIM. In this paper, the employed data acquisition techniques are described and their optimization and treatment through the BIM approach are discussed. The gathering of different types of data, some of which not commonly included in more conventional applications of BIM, as well as the lack of object libraries which cover the various architectural details of historic buildings, were the primary difficulties.

Carina Francisco, Luísa Gonçalves, Florindo Gaspar, Hugo Rodrigues, Mercedes Solla Carracelas, Ivan Puente Luna, Gil Gonçalves, Paulo Providência

BIM Applications to Pavements and Railways. Integration of Numerical Parameters

Transport infrastructures such as roads, railways and runways are under increased traffic loading and their rehabilitation has to be performed in an efficient way, structurally and financially. In this process, monitoring of structural and functional capacity of transport infrastructures using non-destructive tests is performed in a systematic way. It is important to take the advantages of these measurements in order to plan a future rehabilitation. In this paper, four case studies of Building Information Modelling applied to transport infrastructures are presented. In case of road and airport pavements, the integration of structural capacity in the modelling was studied. Regarding the railways, a construction of a transition zone was addressed, as well as its behaviour during the first three years after entering in service. For both roads and railways, rehabilitation of existing infrastructures was modelled using BIM. In this way, it is possible to obtain a model that has information regarding the structural condition resulting from the continuous inspections. The BIM, being a relatively recent and innovative methodology, it is an important tool, with great potential when applied to transport infrastructures study. The main troubleshooting and consideration reached so far are presented herein, identifying the advantages of this approach.

Simona Fontul, Paula Couto, Maria João Falcão Silva

Facility and Asset Management on BIM Methodology

The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) sector. BIM is an innovative methodology that enables a new approach to construction information management, based on the design of a virtual information model, and which presupposes a new paradigm in the way information exchange processes are treated among the various stakeholders throughout the asset’s life cycle. Asset Management (AM) is a challenging and increasingly important area in modern society, as efficient management, maintenance and operation of assets can bring numerous benefits. The actual global developments as well as the economic growth have increased the need to know well organization’s assets. In response to requests related to the asset operation phase, emerges the Facility Management (FM), as the integration of processes to maintain and develop the agreed services that support and improve the effectiveness of each organization’s primary activities has been used to improve the management of the activities that support the main activity. In the present work, the basic concepts of BIM methodology, AM and FM are described, as well as it presented a proposal for the establishment of BIM-AM-FM methodologies integration, taking full advantage of their functionalities. Finally, the main conclusions and advantages of the BIM methodology applied to AM and FM are presented.

Maria João Falcão Silva, Paula Couto

Interoperability Between BIM Objects and ProNIC: Application to Different Building Design Specifications

Over the last few decades, the architecture, engineering, construction and operation (AECO) sector did not follow the technological evolution observed in other sectors. Although there have been technological innovations, which include BIM and the Protocol for Standardization of Technical Construction Information (ProNIC—Portuguese abbreviation), they are not implemented, resulting in a lack of quality in the sector. This paper aims to present the development of a methodology for linking, in a semantic way, BIM objects with the construction works and technical regulations associated with them, generated and standardized by ProNIC. The work developed comprises: (i) elaboration of models, both in the BIM environment and in the ProNIC platform; of the two case studies, one related to architecture design specification and other related to fire network design specifications; (ii) characterization of interoperability and study of an information exchange mechanism between systems that is effective in exchanging data formats supported by BIM and ProNIC, namely the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), a universal format for representation of construction products and exchange of data between systems; and (iii) proposal, description and analysis of the viability of the interoperability methodology between BIM and ProNIC. Finally, the main conclusions of the research developed are presented.

Maria João Falcão Silva, Paula Couto, Filipa Salvado

Energetic Rehabilitation of Building Toward BIM Methodology

The rehabilitation of buildings has been growing in the last few years, being one of the areas with greater investment by the public and private sectors. The challenge on the rehabilitation of buildings allows reducing the use of resources, trying to reduce the environmental impact and making the construction sector more efficient. The energy rehabilitation of buildings is an important aspect of building rehabilitation, assuming particular importance among this type of interventions, trying to integrate economical and rational measures. The adoption of BIM methodology is associated with project planning, cost or energy analysis of the construction and project deliveries of the building and constructed structures; as a result, nowadays there is a greater demand to adapt these tools in the early stages of existing building lifecycle. The emergence of BIM software that can combine the modeling with the energy assessments allows the designer to make more conscious, accurate and informed decisions about the projects under development. The main objective of the research study developed is to understand how the use of digital tools allows a more efficient approach in the energetic rehabilitation of a building. In this way, and considering different rehabilitation solutions, it is possible to perform an analysis of alternatives, comparing them with the base solution and thus being able to understand which are the energetic gains, as well as the optimal solution. The results will be presented making possible their comparison with real measurements and the standards reference parameters for thermal performance. The possibility of editing the thermal properties of the building materials considered allows the realization of various simulations with several combinations of possible improvements. The results obtained can be an integrant part of a cost–benefit analysis to support decision-making.

Sara Silva, Maria João Falcão Silva, Paula Couto, Fernando Pinho

Construction Technologies


Robotic Construction: Robotic Fabrication Experiments for the Building Construction Industry

This paper aims to explore the possibilities that robotic technologies, namely robotic arms and drones, bring to architecture and to the construction sector. The developed research was based on a literature review regarding drones, robotic arms and hybrid automatic construction solutions. The paper starts by presenting a brief resume about the robotic technologies that are presently used, mainly in academic research, to assemble construction elements. We then analyse eight case studies of construction performed with drones and robotic arms in order to explore different approaches to the robotic construction. The advances in robotic construction are visible and growing every year. According to experts, robotic construction will be introduced in the construction industry in a hybrid way by a collaboration between man and machine and not as total substitution of human labour.

Nuno Pereira da Silva, Sara Eloy

Additive Manufacturing of Architectural Structures: An Interplay Between Materials, Systems, and Design

In the past few years, the adaptation of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for the building industry has reached new levels of sophistication, triggering design and development of novel 3D-printable materials and material interfaces; inspiring innovative architectural details; rethinking of material-specific printing systems; and enabling significant understanding of the interrelationship between multiple variables and aspects of design thinking and processes. For example, there are notable consequences of toolpath design in relation to material design, spatial experiences, and structural performance. AM has been recognized for its unique affordances, including flexibilities and freedom of free-form construction; speed of construction; reduced construction time and cost; reduced waste of resources, materials, labor, and energy; and increased safety due to innovations in automated construction. This technology has far-reaching implications and impact by augmenting conventional technologies and wisdom. This paper presents an overview of materials, systems, design explorations, and selected results in the context of NASA Centennial Challenge’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge Competition, leading to the production of the first fully 3D-printed, fully enclosed concrete habitat. The paper also reflects on the potential impacts of this technology when fully adopted by the construction industry.

Shadi Nazarian, José Pinto Duarte, Sven G. Bilén, Ali Memari, Aleksandra Radlinska, Nicholas Meisel, Maryam Hojati

3D Printing for Construction Using Stone Sludge

3D printing in construction is recognized by its flexibility in design, cost, and time. It is amplifying every day in terms of technology which provides new solution to several problems. The process of 3D printing with cement-based mixes does not use formwork and thus gives increased flexibility to designers, saves the cost of labor and materials and reduces waste. Printers have been used to construct structural elements and full-scale buildings. But construction has been dealing with one of the major issue, which is the waste management. Stone sludge is one of the most abundantly produced wastes in stone quarries which have been dumped in landfill with low percentage of reuse. This research paper focuses on integrating stone sludge waste from the transformation industry as raw material in the mortar, having the objective to do 3D printing in a cost-effective and affordable way. An experimental work was carried out to obtain convenient mixes to print, evaluating some physical and mechanical properties of casted samples and comparing stone sludge-based mortar with traditional mortar mixes. Mortar specimens were obtained using a robotic arm with an extrusion printing process. Six mortar types with different proportions of stone sludge and admixtures were tested in a systematic way to determine their printable properties. The outcome of the test is presented, discussing possible reasons, factors, and relations between the results obtained. The work carried out shows that it was possible to print using stone sludge with smooth and uniform surface.

Vani Annappa, Florindo Gaspar, Artur Mateus, João Vitorino

Modular Construction for Emergency Situation: A Design Methodology for the Building Envelope

According to the data of major international organizations and studies in the building sector, we actually live in a housing emergency. Each year millions of people migrate all over the world (258 millions in the 2017). About one billion people now live in slums. Looking to prediction for the future, these numbers are expected to increase. It is therefore evident that the theme of housing and of the city is really important for the near future. The research presented in this paper aims to develop a modular and modifiable building system, to answer to the aforementioned questions, ensuring at the same time flexibility and speed required by modern living: modular houses fast to be built, easy to change, and to dismiss. A pre-design matrix is under development, as a driver tool for designers and planners that can theoretically combine the best (ideal) choices for a given place/environment based on specific social and environmental needs/availability. The matrix combines the main parameters that influence the final energy consumption and indoor human comfort of a building, with particular attention to the building envelope. The performances of the envelope in severe environments (cold and hot) are considered, while changing materials and technological elements. The main result obtained is the list of requirements that an envelope must have to satisfy the comfort target in a given climate. This paper illustrates the results of these changes in the composition of the envelope.

Federico Fiume, Nicola Callegaro, Rossano Albatici

Digital Fabrication Experimentations with Complex Form Modular Bionic Building Envelope with 3D Printing and Robotics Technology

The objective of this paper is to present the results of digital design and fabrication experimentations with prototypes for the construction of a building envelope. This envelope was a complex bionic modular membrane system fabricated and built with 3D printing and an industrial robotic arm. This paper is organized into five topics. The first one presents the relevance and research objective. The second topic presents the procedures and tools used. The third topic presents the three resulting types of products: firstly, the 3D prototyped scaled models of the structure and its cells; secondly, the structure digitally and manually fabricated with cardboard on a 1:1 scale; thirdly, the digitally fabricated styrofoam cells cut with a hotwire robotic arm. The fourth topic presents a discussion of the results and the possibilities and limitations of the four techniques used: the RepRap 3D printers; the 2D laser cutting and assembling of 3D modules; the fabrication through die-casting aluminum into a previously made PLA plastic 3D printed model placed into the sandbox; and the technique of Styrofoam cutting with a hotwire device handled by a robotic arm. Finally, the fifth topic, the conclusions, presenting the possibilities and limitations of the four mentioned techniques.

Juan Carlos Guillén-Salas, Neander Furtado Silva

3D Printing Technology in the Construction Industry

The demand for cost-effective solutions led to the development of 3D printing technology in the construction industry, as a possible constructive solution in the scope of the so-called Industry 4.0. It has been shown to be feasible in several areas, due to its low cost, speed, geometric freedom and being an environmentally friendly solution, mainly due to the possibility of using raw materials of endogenous origin, biodegradable or even to the reuse of waste. This technology is generally composed of one or more printheads, supported by a rail-guided crane. Another widely used strand is the robotic arms (extendable or not). In both, the end of the printhead is composed of an injector through which the mortar is forced to pass, using pumps. Bridges, shelters for soldiers, homes for disadvantaged people, or even destroyed by natural disasters, as well as the rehabilitation of buildings, are some examples of what has already been done, using 3D printing. This paper gives an overview of the applications of this type of technology, as also the possibilities, as for example dimensional, shape, building time, finishing and material characteristics. Printing technology, types of equipment, variants, design, alternative energy supply are presented. Examples are given about equipment that have been developed and tested for initial testing, demonstration and commercial implementation, and that may be used in the future. The advantages and future possibilities of 3D printing in construction are also discussed. It is an emerging technology with a great potential for evolution, namely in terms of materials for printing, size and finishing, or even in terms of simultaneous printing of mortar and insulation materials. However, it is currently limited for the lack of legislation and certification.

Tiago Freire, Francis Brun, Artur Mateus, Florindo Gaspar

NZEB Modular Prefabricated Building System

Energy Analysis

Lightweight prefabricated construction systems present some challenges to comply with building thermal regulation, namely in summer period, because of their low thermal mass. Modular prefabricated building system has special connection elements that need detailed calculation to allow the assessment of building thermal performance. This article presents the main findings of the study of an innovative modular prefabricated building system to fulfill the NZEB requirements, for detached single-family house, located in different climate zones in Portugal. The thermal performance assessment focuses on the quantification of the thermal transmission coefficient of the panel and the linear thermal bridge coefficients of the innovative connections that result in an automation of the construction process. This assessment was performed with finite element calculation method. The evaluation of the energy performance of the single-family house was done using seasonal method. The thermal transmittance of the innovative system for wall (Ud.S = 0.22 W/(m2 K)), roof and floor is approximately 25–56% lower than national minimum requirements (U from 0.30 W/(m2 K) to 0.50 W/(m2 K)). The linear thermal transmission coefficient for the different panels connections is about 23–92% lower than the reference values. Despite this high thermal insulation of the construction system, to fulfill the NZEB requirements, windows with high solar shading and free cooling are required, to overcome the restriction imposed by the low thermal inertia of this construction. This study of the prefabricated modular construction solution, with high thermal insulation and an innovative system for connecting the panels, reflects that this construction solution, despite being of low thermal inertia, allows the design of NZEB single-family houses, regardless of the climate zone in which it is implemented. However, it presents a better thermal performance for a south orientation of the main façade.

Armando Pinto, Rafaela Mateus, Jaime Silva, Miguel Lopes

Laying Ground for Automated Manhole Inspection: A Review

Although advances have been made in reducing the time needed for manhole inspection, the procedure is still mostly done manually, with workers having to enter and visually assess the areas being inspected. There is also a growing need to have these structures inspected regularly, in order to prevent casualties and services interruption, as well as the higher cost of rebuilding instead of repairing these structures, which is possible only if pathologies are identified at early stages. This situation renders the task a good target for automation. This paper reviews a set of existing manhole, tunnel and duct inspection systems to ascertain the main features required for the task, as well as the technologies currently used. Most of the present-day solutions are rather expensive and cumbersome, requiring the deployment of relatively heavy equipment and specialized personnel to operate them. With the recent development of laser range sensors and depth (RGBD) cameras with small form factors and weights, the development of solutions with higher portability and lower cost become feasible. Such a solution could improve considerably the rate at which manholes are inspected, and the technology could be used to generate textured models to be analyzed and reported by a remotely located specialist, both online and offline. The work presented here lays the ground for the development of such a system in our research group who has been working on low-cost systems for the generation of 3D textured models for automated inspection.

Filipe Jorge, Hugo Costelha, Carlos Neves

Construction Planning and Management


Comparative Study Between Spatial Location and Building Permit Authorization in Lisbon

The urban tissue of a city is not static, but rather is constantly changing due to the permanent human activity. In Portugal the right to property is defined in the 62th Article of the Portuguese Constitution; however, this right does not automatically confer the right to its transformation. It is the responsibility of the municipality for the management of the transformations in the urban tissue through urban management activities. Those are legally framed by various legal instruments where the legal regulation of urbanization and edification is the most relevant. The purpose of this study is to develop methods to analyze the relationship between the Lisbon City Council’ evaluation (authorization or rejection), on building permits (architectural design phase) between the years 2002 and 2018, and the spatial location of the building. Such an analysis enables the city hall, promoters and real estate to be informed on the impact that different territorial zones have on the building permits authorized by the city council. The enormous amount of digital data produced in the scope of the urban management activity and the lack of analysis tools makes it very difficult to achieve an objective assessment on the causes that lead to decision making. The study data from different repositories was gathered and loaded into a central Postgres database. Arcgis and PGAdmin software were used in these steps. After that, the data was enriched with values regarding the Parishes boundaries, city detail and urbanization plans, existence of allotment and built heritage protection areas. In data representation Power BI software was used. In an empirical analysis approach the study reveals evidences that the geographical location of the construction site can have influence on the building permit authorization by the city hall. However, more analysis dimensions should be included in the future to clarify on some inconclusive results.

Rui Alexandre Duarte Ricardo

A Framework for Accelerating Innovation Through Innovation Webs

Any efforts to accelerate innovation from ideation through market saturation depend on understanding the systemic behavior occurring within and throughout this process. “Systemic” is hereby understood to describe the holistic interactions of participants assuming roles and exchanging (in-) tangible deliverables from a living systems perspective based on the axiom that innovation is a social phenomenon which can only be served and not managed. Based upon previous research at individual, group, region, nation state, federation and global levels, this paper introduces a framework of systemic variables most critical for influencing the speed of value creation for ideas traveling across the diffusion of innovation curve. These variables are derived from a series of collaboration patterns portrayed as “innovation webs” that describe the dynamics found within the innovation stages of ideation, research, socialization, market validation and commercialization. The paper delivers actionable insights enabling the acceleration of innovation in industries such as construction and provides recommendations for future action-research to mature the dependency model suggested of variables affecting the speed of innovation.

Oliver Schwabe, Lynne Schneider, Nuno Marques de Almeida, Ana Filipa Salvado

Civil Construction Planning Using Augmented Reality

With the advancement of technologies geared to the civil construction and in particular with the virtual demonstration of projects, the applications for these new technologies enable the construction managers the possibility of analysis of work in a virtual scenario, in order to perform strategic planning of execution management still in the project phase. The use of augmented reality as a way of planning the execution of works allows the planning manager to formulate scenarios of execution of services with the virtual demonstration of the projects and the presentation of the elements to be constructed in a simulated way. This tool is not limited to simple presentation in a closed environment, but also in the “in-place” presentation, where it will be built to perform a simulation of all the constructive steps, thus analyzing globally possible interferences in the project. In this way, it is possible to perform the lease of work, with the location of foundations, masonry, structures, installations, finishes, among other constructive steps, thus enabling the realization of a prior analysis of the virtually built for the design of construction planning.

Moacir Rodrigues

Dealing with Uncertainty in Facility Management (FM) Contracts Through a Data-Driven Approach

Nowadays, the FM scenario is undergoing a deep transformation due to the increasing adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Real-time data, new storage possibilities and data analytics are changing the modalities of monitoring and control of service performances offered at the building scale. Data-driven approaches based on predictive analyses applied in FM are meeting a large consensus from FM operators which are perceiving the related achievable benefits. However, applications of ICTs in FM are still at an experimental stage and they can be subjected to a variable level of uncertainty due to the lack of knowledge about systems behaviors. This uncertainty can not only affect the calculation of the expected service performance (SLA) but also the deviation between expected and actual service performances. The uncertainty on expected performances gains a higher relevance when FM services are outsourced to an external provider (especially in performance-based contracts). The paper aims to propose a methodology to quantify and manage the deviation between expected and actual service performances within FM contracts, acting both in the contracting phase (SLAs definition) and during the service provision (deviation expected/actual performance). This methodology would support FM stakeholders in managing the level of uncertainty on expected service performances, mitigating related risks.

Giancarlo Paganin, Francesco Rota, Nazly Atta, Cinzia Talamo

Use of Augmented Reality to Simulate Structural Reinforcement Application in Existing Buildings

Many buildings are subjected to structural reinforcements, for various reasons, and can cite the decrease in seismic vulnerability, change of purpose of the building or changes in the plant. Although the reasons for the change in the purpose of structural reinforcement are an impactful intervention in the building, and the presentation of this intervention in an augmented reality simulation can contribute directly to the understanding of the reinforcement project, already the augmented reality (AR) enables an immersive experience within the executive project and over the possibility of the project with the existing building. In view of this reality, the presentation of structural reinforcement projects is consolidated as an ally and a reference for projects.

Moacir Rodrigues

The Expected Outcomes of Implementing a Distributed File System in the Construction Industry

The construction industry is often criticized for its delay in adopting new technologies that could contribute to reducing the productivity gap between it and other industries. The solutions currently used in the industry focus largely on the power of cloud storage and computing services to improve the efficiency of the workflow. This might not be suitable for all projects and rises major concerns about data protection and security risks. Inter-planetary file system (IPFS) is a network protocol that aims for immutable content which is addressable peer-to-peer instead of location-addressable centralized content. The purpose of this paper is to explore the main functions provided by IPFS and to conjecture on how the construction industry can benefit from it. The paper focuses particularly on the domain of document management as a field in which the construction industry could benefit from the use of IPFS. Indeed, increased reliability in document exchanges and file immutability are the expected advantages of the use of this technology. The literature review shows a lack of case studies about the adoption of IPFS in the construction industry, although lessons can be learned from its use in other activities.

Mohammad Darabseh, João Poças Martins

Building Investment Index: A Decision-Making Tool to Optimize Long-Term Investment Decisions

It is increasingly important for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) practitioners to justify not only the initial capital investments needed at an early stage of a building project but also all other subsequent costs throughout the building life cycle. These involve an understanding of the running costs of buildings in the use stage and also appropriate long-term capital investment planning (e.g. moment and cost) of future rehabilitation investments needs. But there is a lack of expedite decision support tools that can assist the future-proofing of design decisions at early stage of the building life cycle and link those to the economic life cycle performance of a building. Building investment index (BII) is proposed as an economic performance indicator. The results of this indicator are reported as time series representing the ratio between the fair value and the initial investment cost in each moment of the building life cycle. BII is applied in a case study of 166 public school building portfolio constructed in Portugal since 1942 and totally refurbished in 2009. The post-construction investment costs are estimated until 2071. It is demonstrated how the BII can be used to monitor and optimize long-term investment plans for building systems and subsystems (e.g. in 2071, end of the period of analysis, the BII value is 0.66 and capital investment is about 140% of the initial investment).

Filipa Salvado, Nuno Marques de Almeida, Álvaro Vale e Azevedo

The Impact of Asset Management Development Programs in Infrastructure Organizations

The increasing challenges for organizations managing aged infrastructure that support societies, often with large intervention backlogs because financial resources are not always readily available, are being widely debated, particularly in the case of national, regional or municipal critical infrastructure of the water, energy and transportation sectors. It is crucial that such infrastructure organizations continuously improve their asset management capabilities, in order to systematically optimize the performance or the levels of service provided, modeling and forecasting the infrastructure life cycle costs, manage the risk of failure and find strategies to fund both short- and long-term investment needs. Asset management is a multidisciplinary approach that can be used by this type of asset-intensive organizations to address the challenges referred to above and maximize the value derived from their infrastructure asset base, while ensuring that the objectives of the organization are achieved and that the needs and expectations from its relevant interested parties are met. This paper discusses the impact of asset management development programs on infrastructures organizations. The discussion is illustrated with the achievements of a six-month fast-track pilot project for developing the asset management capabilities in a water utility. The case study covers the industrial water supply system for an industrial and logistic zone in the Portuguese Atlantic coast and its impact in the rapid increase of the asset management maturity of the infrastructure organization as a whole.

Nuno Marques de Almeida, João Vieira, Jaime Gabriel Silva, Cristina e Castro

Construction Materials


Mycelium-Based Composites: A New Approach to Sustainable Materials

The use of plastics is facing, nowadays, some drawbacks as the use of fossil resources and its recycling. New approaches are being studied for the use of sustainable materials, by replacing plastics with natural materials, with a low ecological impact and low carbon footprint. The mycelium-based materials are a potential alternative to plastics and are totally recyclable. The growth of natural resources, as mycelium-based materials, is increasing its relevance as an alternative production process. The present study allowed the analysis of the viability of different fungi species to grow under controlled conditions and the selection of the best substrate according to the fastest and more consistent mycelium growth. Four types of fungal mycelium were used, namely Pleurotus ostreatus, Hypsizygus ulmarius, Ganoderma lucidum and Trametes versicolor, on three substrates (coffee grounds, pinewood waste and mixed wood waste). The mycelial growth was analyzed both morphologically and thermomechanically by means of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and contact angle with water tests. Mycelium growth varied with the fungus species and with the selected substrates. Microstructures of hyphae of the mycelium were obtained with different diameters, numbers of bonds between them and densities. The mycelium-based materials presented a stable behavior with increased temperature, undergoing degradation in terms of mass values above 270 °C.

Rafael M. Escaleira, Maria J. Campos, M. L. Alves

Bioash—A New Alternative Road Construction Material

In recent years, bioash is increasingly being researched as a potential building material. Bioash can be defined as a byproduct of energy production from biomass combustion. Through history, smaller, locally occurring, ash amounts were mostly treated as waste or were often used in agriculture. Today, it is necessary to find better ways of recycling larger amounts of bioashes generated in powerplants, which are created as a result of the European Union Renewable Energy Directive. Bioash usage as an alternative construction material could have great ecological and economic benefits, but there are also some obstacles and difficulties with its wide application. Research has shown that bioash has the potential to be used as an alternative material in various construction projects. It could potentially be used in structural and nonstructural concretes, bricks, in earthworks, and others, either as a binder or a fine aggregate. Road construction requires large amount of materials and as such could serve as a way of bioash recycling. Especially in low-volume roads to which lesser demands from traffic loads are set. This paper deals with the application of bioash in road construction.

Martina Zagvozda, Sanja Dimter, Tatjana Rukavina

A Full-Scale Study of Flax Fiber-Based Thermal Insulating Slabs on the Attic Floor

The main subject of the study is the physical parameters of thermal insulating materials based on flax fiber, including thermal transfer resistance and humidity, determined under operating conditions. In the experiments, slabs based on flax fibers and flax noils were used, as well as thermal insulation material from a mixture of flax and polyester fibers. Fibrous insulation slabs were laid in the attic floor of a one-story residential building located in the countryside in northern Belarus. Monitoring of the parameters studied was carried out in the autumn, winter, and spring. The thermal transfer resistance of the insulated attic floor was determined using heat flow sensors. According to the readings of thermocouples installed inside the structure, temperature distribution graphs were constructed to determine the effectiveness of thermal insulation on the attic floor. At a temperature of −17 °C, the thermal transfer resistance of insulation was 5.17–5.88 (m2°C)/W. The moisture content of thermal insulation materials after the winter period was in the range of 5.7–12.3%. The results obtained prove the effectiveness of thermal insulation slabs based on flax noils.

Sergey Romanovskiy, Aleksandr Bakatovich

Effect of Strain Load History on Fatigue Behaviour of the 7075-T651 Aluminium Alloy

This paper aims to investigate the effect of strain-loading sequence on fatigue lifetime in the 7075-T651 aluminium alloy. In the first stage, a set of constant-amplitude fully reversed strain-controlled tests are performed to obtain the cyclic plastic properties used in most of the standard fatigue design approaches. In the second stage, two series of tests are conducted under different variable-amplitude loading conditions with non-zero mean strain. Experimental fatigue lives are then compared with those evaluated via the standard fatigue design approaches. The results show significant differences between experimental and predicted lives, which clearly demonstrates the need to account for, as accurate as possible, the mean stress relaxation rates and the cumulated fatigue damage.

Jorge Cunha, Artur Mateus, Cândida Malça, José Costa, Ricardo Branco

Evaluation of the Gluing Process of Maritime Pine Wood Veneers for Application in Overmolding

The gluing process of thin wood veneers is a crucial step for the use of wood as a finishing layer to injected plastic parts, through the overmolding process. Based on the published studies on pine wood gluing for the production of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and plywood panels, a phenol–resorcinol–formaldehyde (PRF) glue was selected for the assessment of the gluing process of Portuguese maritime pine wood. The gluing of the wood veneers was carried out in a hot pressing machine, equipped with electronic temperature control, under 800 kPa of applied pressure, and a glue mix spread rate of 350 g/m2. The influence of the gluing parameters (gluing temperature and pressing time) on dimensional and physical properties of the glued wood veneers was evaluated. Additionally, experimental determination of bending strength and modulus of elasticity of the glued wood veneers were carried out through three-point bending tests. According to the results obtained, and despite the uncertainties that need to be addressed, it seems feasible to consistently glue maritime pine wood veneers to use them as a top layer in the overmolding process of plastics.

Tomás Archer de Carvalho, Florindo Gaspar, Artur Mateus, Sandra Monteiro, Joana Campos

Thermosensitive Screen, Responsive System for Radiation Control, Lighting, and Ventilation

The search for innovation is inherent to the human being, as a means of solving problems or promoting improvements in performance and efficiency. This can be achieved through novel discoveries or the reinterpretation of existing processes and materials. We developed a programmable device to be applied in the facade of buildings that modifies its shape passively according to changes in temperature due to the distinct expansion of the two materials combined to create it in response to heat—and therefore, making it programmable. Consequently, the amount of wind and light passing through the device changes responding to external temperature and thereby promotes comfort with a low-cost, energy-free solution. We have chosen to explore bi-materials due to their distinct expansion in response to heat, making it programmable. Being a lightweight and flexible fabric, its entire production line would be industrialized, beginning with the combination of the two materials. Subsequently, such composite would run on rolls with 1.2 m wide, then passed through a cutting printer. These designs could be mass customized. With the fabric roll ready and trimmed, it could be easily transported to the place of installation. The process of heating and its response make the movement of its cutouts attractive and dynamic, deeply connected with the place where it is inserted.

Cassio Daher, Henrique Lattes Borçato, Juliana Croffi, Victor Calixto



Assessment of Seismic Behavior of an RC Precast Building

Past earthquakes brought attention to the poor performance of precast reinforced concrete structures. One of the problems observed in those structures is related to the beam-to-column connections. The evaluation of different methodologies for the analysis of beam-to-column connections in industrial buildings is an important aspect that should be studied. The numerical analyses developed allowed the study of the effect that different connection properties have on the frequencies of vibration, members drifts, and seismic coefficients. The connection properties were modeled through a macro-element that considers the friction (between concrete–concrete and concrete–neoprene) and the steel dowels. The results showed that the friction between concrete elements and the consideration of the neoprene in the connection has a small impact on the drifts demands in the columns and seismic coefficient of the analyzed structure; on the other hand, the effect of the steel dowel on the drift demand and seismic coefficient is significant. The comparison of the models with different properties and connections allowed a better understanding of the factors with a higher impact on the results.

Hugo Vitorino, Nádia Batalha, Romain Sousa, Paulo Fernandes, Humberto Varum, Hugo Rodrigues

The Concepts of Genetics Applied to a Reinforced Concrete Cantilever Beam Optimization

In last years, structural optimization has gained much interest in the scientific community and has attracted the attention of the majority of scientific researchers. A major challenge was to identify the optimal design of a structure. This complex task turns out to be very complicated and costly in time given a large number of nonlinear constraints of design and the iterative procedure of structural analysis. On the one hand, the optimization of structural design seeks the possibility of improving productivity in order to reduce the production costs of structures and minimize the weight of structures, in particular by complying with the regulatory constraints of resistance and stability. On the other hand, existing methods for optimizing the design of structures are very limited by their computational requirements and rely heavily on the assumption of continuity of the optimization variables. But in the majority of real systems, the functions being non-differentiable and the variables are discrete, the application of these methods becomes unsuitable or even impossible. Following this context that we propose in this paper, a new approach to the optimization of the design of the structures by modeling based on the genetic algorithms (GA).

L. Amamra, S. Benanane, A. Benanane, S. M. Bourdim, M. Titoum, B. Chaibedra

Numerical Investigation on the Effects of Natural Frequencies of Vibration Uncertainties on the Maximum Seismic Response

The main results of a numerical investigation for the probabilistic description of the maximum response under seismic excitation systems, in terms of variability values of vibration frequencies, are presented. Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to determine the variance in the average amplitudes quadratic response spectra. The random variability of the resonant frequencies of structures values is modelled by the log-normal probability density function whose characteristics have been obtained based on statistical processing of a wide range of structures and structural systems. Simulated response spectra correspond to the accelerometric recording Parkfield earthquake of 27 June 1966. It is shown that the variations of the maximum response are, in view of the frequency range considered, differently controlled by the variances of the uncertain parameters. The results interpreted among other things, in terms of levels of excitement and vulnerability of structures are of some importance for engineers and their use can be extended to improve seismic regulations currently in force.

Yassine Zelmat

Details for the Design of Hybrid Nodes in Concrete Beams to Steel Beam

Details are recommended to improve the performance of beam-beam nodes formed by connecting main concrete beams with secondary steel beams, known as hybrid nodes or composite nodes in beams. The secondary steel beam node provides advantages compared to joints with inserts or anchors for the following reasons: The steel beam is continuous in the joint area which provides a more reliable performance to tearing. It increases the percentage of moment transfer by having greater rotational rigidity and decreases the positive moments in the secondary beam by continuity. Therefore, the transmission of forces from the steel beam improves the secondary beam flanges that distribute the reaction in the concrete beam and avoids the concentration of tensions. The results of laboratory experimentation under monotonic load showed that the proposed connection is acceptable, because the concrete beam exceeds the values predicted by the theory of bending and the mechanisms of collapse are described. Based on the observation and experimental tests of the form of damages caused to buildings during the 7.8 Mw earthquake of April 16, 2016 in Ecuador, details for the design of the hybrid nodes are recommended.

Yordy Mieles, Rafael Larrúa, Carlos Villacreses, Daniel Delgado, Christian Gómez

The Concrete at the 4th Industrial Revolution

The rapid technological evolution has leveraged several sectors of the industry, allowing innovations in several levels of performance. The construction sector has been following this transformation, with material innovations, optimization of production processes, and new construction methods emerging on a daily basis, despite being a traditional sector. With the focus on the 4th industrial revolution (Economy 4.0), it is essential to provide the industry with suitable materials to keep up with this evolution, capable of meeting the increasing requirements of performance, durability, and sustainability. As concrete is one of the most versatile materials and used in the construction industry, it is essential to adapt it to the most demanding production methods, namely pre-fabrication, with shorter production cycles, higher automation, unusual shapes (variable, complicated, very slim) and solutions (from traditional to three-dimensional printing based), all challenges for Economy 4.0. In the last decade, particular attention and research effort have been given to high performance and ultra-high performance concretes. These new cementitious matrix materials provide improved performance compared to traditional concrete, both regarding the mechanical properties (allowing smaller sections and manufacturing time, high finish quality of the parts), as well the durability, with significant impact on the life cycle of structures. This optimization allows a reduction not only of the resources required for its manufacture but also a reduction of the environmental footprint and increases the material life cycle. This work deals with this challenge, characterizing a fiber-reinforced self-compacting concrete and showing its advantages, structural performance, impact on the resources used, and maintenance throughout its life cycle.

Paulo Fernandes, Nuno M. F. Almeida, João R. S. Baptista

Optimization of Metallic Structures by Applying Genetic Algorithm

Computer-aided design is becoming a reality today through the significant development of computing tools. These calculation codes are often intended for an advanced project design phase. On the other hand, there are very few tools for early design assistance or pre-project design. Therefore, in this research, a methodology is proposed for solving the problem of the global design of a simple metal structure based on the genetic algorithms approach using Matlab. A comparative study is made on a 2D metal gantry using the profiles available in the Algerian market, namely IPE—IPN and HEA—HEB so as to have an optimal dimensioning in the inelastic field.

Mohammed Issam Eddine Terki Hassaine, Sidi Mohammed Bourdim, Abdelkader Benanane, Yassine Zelmat

Seismic Retrofitting of an Existing Masonry School Building: A Case Study in Algarve

One of the goals of the PERSISTAH project is the seismic assessment of primary school buildings existing in Algarve (Portugal) and Huelva (Spain) regions, and to propose retrofitting solutions for the buildings that present a high seismic risk level. These solutions are to be implemented in two pilot school buildings, one in the Algarve and the other in Huelva. The most vulnerable school buildings that were identified in Algarve were the masonry buildings, which were built before the existence of modern seismic codes. The primary school selected for retrofitting is located at Bracanes (Olhão). At first, a nonlinear seismic static analysis was carried out using the N2 method, trying to apply advanced seismic analysis methods to practical problems. This led to the conclusion that the existing building does not comply with the seismic level established in the NP EN1998-3:2017 code (EC8-3). Because there is already a rigid roof system, the selected retrofitting strategy is the consolidation of the vertical structure, namely applying one solution presented in the EC8-3. This case study has shown the difficulties of applying the EC8-3 to the Algarve region, and what it is possible to do to overcome those problems.

João Estêvão, Bruno Tomás, Roberto Laranja, Alfredo Braga

Modern Strengthening Methods for URM

During the long history of unreinforced masonry (URM), strengthening moved from traditional methods and techniques to modern materials and methods. The traditional techniques indicated several disadvantages in the sense of reducing the available space, impact on the architectural value of the structure, possibilities of corrosion due to environmental impact, and similar. For quite a while fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) were used for strengthening of masonry structures; however, its application was relatively limited. Thought out the time FRP materials showed their advantages and disadvantages. A new generation of composite systems was developed with the cementitious matrix called fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM). FRCM composites are a newly developed strengthening system that was first used for strengthening of concrete structure that consists of high-strength fibers embedded in a cementitious grout and externally bonded to the substrate. This paper aims to give a state-of-the-art of the new FRCM methods, compare different experimental studies, and give a parametric index of the various methods. The effectiveness of the strengthening procedure is related to the unconfined element’s load-bearing capacity.

Naida Ademović, Marijana Hadzima-Nyarko, Gordana Pavić

A Look at the Traditional Construction During the Earthquake of 7.8 Mw of Pedernales 2016 (Ecuador): The Case of Portoviejo City

Portoviejo is located in a sedimentary basin near the subduction zone of the Nazca Plate and the South American Plate, which moves at a rate of 60 mm per year, the origin of the 7.8 Mw earthquake on April 16, 2016, with more than 660 deathly victims, approximately 6200 injured and serious material damage. This paper analyzes the impact of this earthquake on traditional construction, inherited from ancestral knowledge, declared by UNESCO in the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity as heritage of the place of origin and an important resource for all humanity. Since the 1950s, wooden porticos filled with clay bricks, pumice, chopped bamboo, or bamboo strips were replaced by materials considered more durable and resistant as reinforced concrete, which increased the vulnerability to earthquakes associated with a popular perception of categorization and improvement of social status, according to the material used in the construction of a building. The use of traditional materials for the construction of buildings worldwide is not only more economical, fast, and durable with a continuous and sustainable maintenance through a conscious and sustainable production, but it is also earthquake resistant and represents fewer risks compared to the buildings of concrete during earthquakes.

Carlos Villacreses Viteri, Yordy Mieles Bravo, Daniel Delgado Gutiérrez, Stalin Alcívar Moreira

Construction and Environment


A Performance-Based Approach to Enhance the Operational Energy in Residential Buildings

Nowadays, authorities and official bodies, building managers, banks and insurance companies, conformity assessment bodies, designers, builders, suppliers and end-users, among others, seek explicit performance information on building facilities. They look for proof that building requirements are fulfilled throughout all stages of the project, namely, technical requirements related to the building such as structural safety, structural serviceability, structural durability, fire safety, and energy efficiency. These have led to the development of performance-based approaches to evaluate and demonstrate that such requirements are being fulfilled, information which is then conveyed to the stakeholders through statements of technical conformity or engineering performance certificates. A prominent example is the case of building energy performance certificates. However, there are still important gaps that need to be addressed when evaluating the energy performance of buildings. This paper aims at contributing to overcome some of these gaps. It proposes a methodology to evaluate the performance of residential buildings regarding operational energy, covering requirements and building attributes related to thermal comfort, indoor lighting, hot water supply, appliances and generated energy, some of which have so far been neglected. This methodology is tested with empirical evidence of a case study of the “Smart meters for Efficient Decisions” and the REQUEST project, simultaneously, both monitoring energy consumption projects in dwellings promoted by Lisboa E-Nova.

Ricardo Grazina, Nuno Marques de Almeida, Maria da Glória Gomes

Maintenance of Technical Installations in Buildings Based on Asset Life Cycle Analysis

This paper shows the importance of maintenance in buildings regarding the availability, reliability, maintainability, safety, and costs (RAMS+C) of the physical assets that make part of technical installations, taking into consideration all their life cycle. Some important standards related to asset management and maintenance are referred and some methodologies are described helping to understand the potential application to buildings of such tools that are often used in the industrial field. As fire is one of the major concerns when analyzing all potential risks in buildings and as it is common to install fire protection systems in a way to prevent fire occurrence or to protect buildings against such events, the paper also presents an illustrative example related to a fire extinguishing system showing the applicability of the referred concepts and methodologies and the importance of its maintenance. Some studies state that when facing a fire about one-third of the safety systems do not work properly just because of the lack of inspection, test, or maintenance of such systems.

J. Sobral, D. Gaspar, N. Almeida

Design and Construction of a Ventilation System Located in an Experimental Chamber

A numerical study was done to evaluate the influence of an air extraction system localization on the performance of a new Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioned (HVAC) system based on horizontal confluent jets, in winter and summer conditions. Two extraction systems were studied: one located 1.8 m above the floor level and another located on the ceiling level. The numerical simulation is done considering a coupling between the Building Thermal Behavior, the Human Thermal Comfort and the Computational Fluid Dynamics numerical models. In the numerical simulation, it is used as a virtual chamber, equipped with a square table and with 4 seated virtual mannequins. The new HVAC system has 4 vertical ducts, each one installed at the corner of the chamber. Each vertical duct has a set of 200 round nozzles per line. To evaluate simultaneously the occupant thermal comfort level, the occupant air quality level, and the ventilation system performance, the Air Distribution Index is used. The results obtained allow to conclude that the use of the extraction system located 1.8 m above the floor level contributes to the improvement of HVAC system performance.

Eusébio Conceição, João Gomes, Maria Manuela Lúcio, Maria Inês Conceição, Hazim Awbi

Construction of an Experimental Chamber Equipped with Ventilated Windows

The purpose of this study is to design a ventilated window, forming a dual skin façade, used in the promotion of natural ventilation in occupied spaces. The study will be conducted in an experimental chamber that will be equipped with three ventilated windows. All constructive details and materials used will be analyzed. The project will be carried out from a system of integral equations of energy and mass conservation, in the thermal component. In the fluid dynamics component, they will be considered a system of second-order nonlinear energy conservation equations and a system of first-order linear mass flow conservation equations. In this project heat and mass flow equations will be considered in the thermal component equations and localized and continuous load losses equations will be considered in the fluid dynamics component. In this work, 5 cases were studied. The best ventilating rate was obtained for the case where the air insufflation is done in a duct and the air extraction is done in 3 ventilated windows. In this case, a good indoor air quality can be guaranteed for at least 5 occupants.

Eusébio Conceição, João Gomes, Maria Manuela Lúcio, Maria Inês Conceição, Hazim Awbi

In-Situ Measurement and Evaluation of Thermal Transmittance Value by Means of Temperature-Based Method

Thermal transmittance (U-value) of building envelope is one of the most important parameters when assessing the actual energy performance of buildings and even slight changes in this value can significantly affect building energy demand. Over or underestimation of building wall U-values, mainly responsible for the energy losses through the building due to the largest share in surface area, can result in misguided assessments of energy refurbishment and implementation of energy-saving measures in terms of building technology selection, time, and costs. Therefore, to obtain data close to reality and to plan optimal refurbishment interventions, it is necessary to perform in-situ measurements for an accurate evaluation of U-value, i.e., thermal performance of buildings. In this paper, U-value assessment based on in-situ temperature measurements was applied using temperature-based method (TBM) and compared to theoretical values calculated following international standards. The viability of the method has been analyzed under different measurement conditions and for two types of walls before and after retrofitting. The findings presented in the study show a very good agreement between measured U-values and estimated ones for uninsulated walls, while further studies are still needed for insulated walls.

Mihaela Domazetović, Hrvoje Krstić, Dino Obradović

Short-Term Indoor Radon Gas Assessment in Granitic Public Buildings: A Multi-Parameter Approach

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed in the soil with higher predominance in granitic zones. It is a well-known Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) parameter that is measured in higher radon risk zones. The proposed methodology begins with a unidimensional data characterization followed by a multidimensional analysis that will relate radon concentration with other parameters, i.e., Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Indoor Air Pressure. The visual representation of the radon gas concentration variation over the week and throughout the day helped to identify some relevant patterns. A multi-parameter approach was used to analyze the correlation of radon gas concentration with the other parameters, which can be managed to improve the overall IAQ.

Rolando Azevedo, Joaquim P. Silva, Nuno Lopes, António Curado, Sérgio I. Lopes
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